Inquirer backs Obama; not unanimous

October 18, 2008 1:17:20 PM PDT
The Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president, but for the first time since 1972 the newspaper's editorial board was not unanimous in its selection. The newspaper threw its support behind Obama, though a dissenting editorial called McCain best prepared for the job.

The Inquirer said in an editorial posted on its Web site Saturday, and in early editions of Sunday's newspaper, that Obama and Republican presidential candidate John McCain are trying to avoid association with President Bush's failed policies but only one candidate succeeds.

"On every issue important to America, Barack Obama offers a plan that would pull this nation from the precipice built by bad Bush decisions," the newspaper said.

The newspaper said its editorial board compared the candidates' positions on a number of issues for months and "in almost every case, Obama has a superior proposal for this nation."

The Inquirer cited Obama's plan for a reasonable timetable for withdrawal from Iraq; his economic plan, which would provide a tax cut for "81 percent" of households; his plan to provide health care to more Americans and ambitious plan for education.

The newspaper also pointed out that any possible Obama appointments to the Supreme Court would likely keep the balance.

The Inquirer also cited McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, calling the selection a "blatant overture to women voters and evangelical Christians who share her views on abortion." The newspaper said Palin proved in interviews she is not prepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Another reason to vote for Obama, the Inquirer said, is that it would tell the world "that the melting-pot America of legend has finally become a reality" with the election of a biracial president.

"These times demand steady, focused leadership," the newspaper said. "Leadership that takes America far from the policies that have created so much fear. Leadership that says it's OK to hope, because hope properly directed yields results. Barack Obama is ready to provide that leadership."

A dissenting column said no one is better prepared to serve as commander-in-chief than McCain.

It points out the Arizona senator's familiarity with the strengths and weaknesses of the Pentagon as the nation seeks successful outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The dissenting opinion said McCain would work across the political aisle and go against his own party if he thinks it is in the best interest of the country. It says America needs an honest president with experience, common sense, sound judgment, and that those qualities make it easy to vote for McCain.


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